SUNDAY, November 18, was an historic day for the Parish of Kirkinriola and, in particular, Polish members of the parish who gathered at All Saints Church in their national dress to welcome ‘The Black Madonna’ - the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
The church was packed for the arrival of the icon which is in the process of travelling 30,000kms and through 24 countries as part of the pro-life and pro-family campaign entitled ‘From Ocean to Ocean’.
Being carried out for the first time in history and expected to take several months to complete, it is an international pilgrimage which has as its motto ‘East and West in defense of life!’. One of the goals of the campaign is to support the countries with pro-life and pro-family legislation - Hungary and Poland, which face aggressive pressure from anti-family institutions.
When the icon arrived at All Saints on Sunday afternoon the parish’s Polish priest Fr Mariusz Urbanowski led the procession of pilgrims through the church where veneration took place at 3pm followed by Holy Mass at 4pm.
Afterwards the pilgrimage continued to Queen’s University Catholic Chaplaincy where a special Mass was held at 8pm. mnHaving next moved on to Knock last Monday on its journey through Southern Ireland, the icon and world pro-life campaign ‘From Ocean to Ocean’ left Ireland on Saturday, November 24, when it left for France.